Thames & Hudson joined with Veranda magazine
to publish the first American setting of their series on the most
beautiful villages of the world.
Bonnie Ramsey, contributing editor of Veranda and Director
of Communications at the Georgia Museum of Art, wrote the commentary for
the images captured by architectural photographer Dennis OíKain.
The coast presents a variety of architectural influences
and structural material from wood to tabby.
Air circulation is key as coastal homes are designed for cross
ventilation to capture the sea breeze on those hot, humid summer days.
From the Kentucky Derby to the Carolina Cup, horse racing
is a social event. The old
stable at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina is now The
Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame. The
images capture the glamour associated with horse culture.
The rolling hills of the Piedmont South present the grand
horse farm and quaint village homes.
The villages are showing a rebirth of preservation as those who
left for the cities return. Homes
that have existed since the Revolutionary War or missed Shermanís March
to the Sea give a glimpse into the past. While
college towns like Athens, Georgia created lovely gardens as learning
centers for southern horticulture.
In fact, twelve Athens ladies founded the first garden club in the
United States in 1936.
The rivers bordering southern towns provided commerce and
trade for the region. Eutaw,
Alabama would say the rivers provide floods, too.
But the homes along the Black Warrior River have survived.
The Italianate mansions of Eufaula, Alabama and the Greek Revival
mansions of Natchez, Mississippi are tributes to when cotton was king.
Churches and cemeteries are strongly linked to southern
culture and traditions. These
settings of church sings, dinner on the grounds, and reflection on the
past are graced with art sculptures and headstones with profound epitaphs.
The upcountry of Appalachia, the Ozarks and the Texas Hill
Country offer a variety of customs and cuisine that echo the settlers.
From the Tennessee log cabins to the limestone structures in Texas,
each uses the regionís resources and architectural design that
compliments the locale.
For those enticed to visit the locales in person, the book
provides a travelerís guide and bibliography.
This is a beautiful table book that gives armchair travelers a
taste of southern history, gardening, architecture, and folk art.
© 2001 Southern Scribe Reviews, All Rights Reserved